I’m a mom who is a bit of a nerd, so I get really excited when we’re asked to review toys that encourage our children to use their imaginations and help foster an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects.
Currently, my son is all about marble runs. We had one previously, but it wasn’t constructed of the greatest material, and the pieces fell apart very easily. It was so flimsy that instead of being a positive learning experience, it became a tear-filled one instead. So, I was a bit wary when we got asked to check out Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest, and I wasn’t really expecting much, but in the end, I was pleasantly surprised.
The Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest set is much more durable than any of the previous sets we’ve owned. The brightly colored plastic pieces are visually engaging and with 200 pieces to work with, it provides endless options for how the set can be constructed. And as much as I really like the fun aspect of building marble runs with my son, I also enjoy the really nerdy side of them too. Marble runs are a great way to incorporate math, science, physics, mechanics and engineering into one rainy afternoon of play with your child!
With so many chutes, funnels and cranks to set up, your child’s little fingers need to do lots of work to snap the pieces into place. This is a great way to help them exercise their fine motor skills! With that said, this set is harder to put together than some of the other sets we’ve owned, but this is due to the sturdier construction. Also, some of the pieces are made of a thinner material (especially the ones that look like an elongated letter “U”), so you need to be very careful with these pieces or the tips can snap off. Since I always build marble runs together with my son, this wasn’t a big problem for us. However, if he had been building it on his own, he would have been frustrated trying to align some of the pieces together. (I suggest that children 9+ to use on their own; 6+ is fine if you plan to build it with your child.)
The directions were fairly easy to use as long as you read the first two pages word for word. (Hint: I did not and had to go back to find out what some of the arrows meant – whoopsie!) I really liked that they were printed on legal-sized paper and bound like a book because I was able to have my son follow along and tell me what to do. I love when he gets to be the one reading directions! (Any time I can get him reading, I’m happy!)
In terms of putting this marble run together, I highly recommend that you put all of the pieces into separate piles and count them before you start building. If a piece is missing, it’s not the end of the world, but it will be helpful to know ahead of time so you can alter the construction with your child before you start building. It’s also helpful to put all of the pieces into piles in the order in which they appear in the directions. There are over 200 pieces – many of which look very similar to each other – and if you don’t have your piles organized, well, you might get a bit grumpy. I also encourage any coffee/tea-drinking parents to slug back your first cup before tackling this project at 7:00 AM on a Sunday like I did. 🙂
Overall, we really like this marble run. My favorite feature is that is comes with a solid, sturdy base that the marble run is snapped into and built on top of. (If you’ve ever built a marble run together with your child before, you know that once it’s built, it’s really impossible to move without a base.) The Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest‘s base is awesome. This marble run has been moved all over the house (Hey, I have to vacuum every now and then!) and it hasn’t fallen apart yet. My son really likes the hand crank and pulley system – it grabs a bunch of marbles and fires them down the chute (I do think the chain could be a little sturdier; it’s detached once or twice, but it’s easy enough to get back on.) and he likes that it doesn’t fall apart like his other one does.
So, if you’re looking for a marble run that won’t fall apart, I’m a fan of this Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest. As with any marble run, a child will tire of the design after awhile, but that’s when it gets interesting – as a parent, you can take it apart with them and rebuild something out of their own imaginations.
Have fun and play with your children – it means the world to them,
About this marble run: The Techno Gears Marble Mania Quest is an adventure themed marble run featuring a hand crank that turns a bucket and chain pulley system to lift the marbles to the top of the run where they twist and turn down the tracks for an action packed run! With more than 200 pieces to reconstruct, this set will provide children hours of fun construction building.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.